welcome to "newsline." i'm -- in tokyo. here are some of the stories we're following this hour. the u.s. congress has convened with republicans controlling both chambers for the first time in eight years. hong kong government officials plan to resume their public consultation on how to elect the territory's leader after weeks of pro-democracy protests. and japanese women working in science come up with new ways
of balancing their jobs with family life. the new u.s. congress has convened after midterm elections in november. the republican party now has a majority in both the senate and house of representatives. with this the gop will likely step up it's confrontations with president barack obama over key policies. the house re-elected john boehner as its speaker on tuesday. republicans are against obama's plan to begin talks on easing economic sanctions and normalizing diplomatic relations with cuba. they're trying to block reforms and measures aimed at curbing global warming. they indicated they'll soon introduce a bill to approve construction of an oil pipeline. obama is cautious due to environmental concerns. the white house says that the
president will not hesitate to exercise his veto. >> i can confirm for you if this bill passes this congress, the president wouldn't sign it either. obama says he intends to issue executive orders to -- opposed by republicans. he says he's ready to seek their cooperation in matters such as the transpacific partnership free trade pact. two years remain in president obama's tenure. hong kong is still facing criticism over the political reform process. the government will launch the second round of public consultations for electing the territory's next chief executive. the current leader, leung chun-ying said public feedback resumes wednesday. the announcement came after hong kong submitted a report to the chinese government on the student-led protests that continued for two months, until december. >> translator: intimidation
cannot make anything legal that is outside or inconsistent with hong kong's constitution. >> a student representative criticized the report. >> translator: the report is meaningless because it fails to touch on why such massive protest occurred and where the core of political reform lies. >> leung's remark was apparently aimed at protesters. they're opposing the mainland state council's decision to effectively exclude the pro-democracy candidates from the chief executive election in 2017. south korean defense officials have expressed concern over north korea's increased capacity to make nuclear weapons. the defense ministry has issued its bi-annual defense white paper. the first since president park geun-hye took office.
the report points out that the north is presumed to have secured some 40 kilograms of nuclear weapons grade plutonium. officials said the north is unlikely to have already deployed nuclear weapons. but its technology to make smaller warheads has significance advanced significantly. the ministry believes the north has missile capabilities that could threaten the u.s. mainland and could develop submarines with ballistic missiles. president park has urged officials to sit down for talks. that comes days after north korean leader kim jong-un said dialogue could be possible. kim said in his new year's address that he can no longer tolerate the tragedy of a divided korean people. he said he wants a turnaround in
relations on the condition that seoul stop causing tensions. president park welcomed his remarks but called on pyongyang to demonstrate ties through action. >> translator: i hope north korea will come forward promptly for interkorean dialogue. i hope pyongyang will cooperate and make substantial contributions toward specific projects of peace and unification on the korean peninsula. >> last month the park administration proposed the two nations hold ministerial talks in january. they want to discuss issues including the reunion of families separated by the korean war more than 60 years ago. makers of electronic gadgets are gathering in las vegas at the international consumer electronics show. what can visitors expect to see at the show this year? >> quite a lot. everything from tvs to drones to vehicles. now this international consumer
electronics show is the biggest event of its kind in the world. leading electronics companies and car makers are exhibiting cutting edge technologies. more than 3500 firms are take part in the event. officials from sony unveiled a new 4k ultra high-definition tv set. it has a liquid crystal display that is 4.9 millimeters thick. sony says that is the thinnest in the world. officials from samsung's samsung electronics and introduced tvs with back light systems. and ten automakers are attending the show. people from toyota are displaying fuel cell vehicles. the company will share patents with other automakers free of charge. and officials from mercedes benz
unveiled a concept car with an automated driving system. people attending the show got a look at unmanned drones. they are being displayed for the first time. they can be used for various purposes such as aerial photography. ces organizers expect 150,000 people to attend the show. it runs through friday. japanese share prices showed a modest rebound this morning despite the fact that most investors are still nervous after a tumble in crude oil prices and worries over the european commit european economy. for more let's go to mayu yoshida. >> stock prices have been swinging between gains and losses today. since the nikkei posted the biggest drop in ten months yesterday, it's time where the investors thought about whether
to stop selling or not. but they bought back expert related shares. putting the index back into the positive before the lunch break. the nikkei was up .5% at 16,947 and the topix also up .5%. but tumbling crude is a major concern. energy producers continue to fall. inpex is down a quarter percent. and another blow to mcdonald's japan. the fast food giant hit a four-month low, down 0.7% after customers found vinyl in their chicken nuggets. but i'll leave the details to you on this one. on the bright side, sony recovered for the first time on four days on results that playstation 4 beat its rivals in terms of sales of video game
consoles. and softbank bounced back 1.5%. now, fairly a positive picture there. shanghai is up 0.2%. and hong kong is up 0.1%. and australia is down .25% to a two and a half week low. in currencies, the dollar is rebounding against the yen now around 119.04. many analysts are expecting the eurozone to fall into deflation. so the euro is still near a nine-year low against the dollar. as on trading for the rest of the day, if the nikkei ends above 16,755 it's highly likely share prices will bounce back for the rest of the week.
mayu mentioned mcdonald's japan. officials at the fast food chain say there haven't been more reports of foreign objects in a popular chicken dish. a piece of blue vinyl in a serving of chicken mcnuggets. the object was found on saturday in an outlet in the northern prefecture of aomori. mcdonald's officials halted sales of all mcnuggets produced at a plant in thailand, the same day as those containing the vinyl. they recalled 190,000 orders. the officials say the menu item had been supplied to outlets in 852 stores across the country. they say almost all of them have been sold. officials at the fast food chain have asked an outside body to examine the vinyl object. they want to confirm whether the material was used at the factory in thailand. many japanese business leaders say the private sector should raise workers' wages to boost consumption and end deflation.
the head of a leading furniture maker and retailer agrees. akio nitori says he wants to raise monthly wages of his employees by more than 3%. that means all employees would see a basic pay increase. wages would be raised based on seniority too. labor and management agreed on a pay raise of 2%. he says it will boost consumption and help the overall economy. three japan-born scientists collected the nobel prize in physics last year. there are high hopes that women can follow in their footsteps. unfortunately, there are comparatively few female researchers in japan. women researchers got together at a recent symposium to discuss why. nhk world's hiroko date has more. >> reporter: the attendees included university researchers who raise children or take care of elderly parents.
they discussed the problems of balancing work and family. >> translator: i don't have the time to fully focus on my experiments because i needed to raise my children. >> translator: i worked hard and did so many experiments when i knew i had to take maternity leave. >> reporter: 130,000 women work as researchers in japan. their number is rising but females still make up less than 15% of all researchers in the country. that's the lowest rate in industrialized world. surveys show more than 70% of these women say it is difficult to balance work and family. compounding the problem is that the scientists tend to be hired for limited terms, making an impression that such a short period is especially difficult for these women. yumiko oishi attended the
symposium. she works in cellular and molecular medicine. she is the mom of a five-year-old boy. oishi spent time in the united states where she was involved in leading medical technologies. she's now studying treatments for lifestyle diseases at tokyo medical and dental university. oishi found it difficult to take time off from work to give birth and raise her child. >> translator: there are experiments that only i can do. i had to suspend the experiments to take time off. time is the highest hurdle for female researchers like myself. >> reporter: oishi's university is working on these issues. it -- it has hired assistants to support scientists who are raising children. when they need to leave early to
take care of their children, the assistants take up the slack. this support means oishi can go home at around 5:00 in the evening and spend time with her son. she says she's happy with this arrangement. >> translator: i am happy when i can continue the research that i love within the time constraints i have. the new support system is a great help. >> reporter: female researchers say they also need facilities where they can leave their children when they attend academic conferences abroad. they hope to cooperate with businesses and the government to create more support systems. hiroko date, nhk world, tokyo. >> tomorrow we'll look at what the country needs to do to have more women in management positions. that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on markets.
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on "newsline." government officials in china have dropped their limit of exports on strategically important minerals that are widely used to make smartphones. high-tech companies around the world have reduced their reliance on chinese supplies. developers in china produce almost all of the world's supply of the minerals. until now, they've been bound by export restrictions the chinese government says is designed to preserve the country's natural resources. representatives from japan, the u.s. and the european union in 2012 filed a complaint saying china was violating trade rules. members of a world trade organization panel last year ruled in their favor. the panel said china had not
shown the export quotas were needed to preserve stocks of the rare earth. president xi jinping is keen to show that china respects the rules of international trade and supports fair competition in the marketplace. candidates vying to lead japan's largest opposition party have kicked off their campaigns. members of the democratic party will vote for a successor of -- after a poor showing in last month's general election. three candidates have registered. the candidates are expected to spell out how they plan to take the party forward. they'll discuss their policies how they would collaborate with other opposition forces and
present a credible challenge to the governing liberal democratic party. the new president will be announced at the party convention a week and a half from now. defense spending is expected to rise for the third straight year. the expenditures will likely reach a record high of 5 trillion yen or $42 billion. authorities at the defense ministry say they want to buy more planes and amphibious vehicles. those include five osprey armored aircraft and 30 landing craft. officials also want to build facilities for a new amphibious unit. they say they need the equipment to boost the ability to defend remote islands. the budget will also cover the cost of reclaiming a coastal area off okinawa. the land will be used to relocate a u.s. military base on the island.
officials want to earmark $1.8 billion in a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year. they'll use the money to strengthen disaster response operations. they want to buy transport hermits and mountain rescue equipment. a female suicide bomber has detonated explosives at a police station in istanbul historic district. a police officer was killed and another was injured. the attack took place tuesday afternoon near the blue mosque. it was the second attack against police in a week in istanbul. turkish police detained a man thursday that threw a hand grenade and began firing at officers. a leftist group said it was
responsible for thursday's incident. no one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack. but police suspect it was carried out by the same leftist group. tens of thousands in germany have taken to the streets, some calling for tighter controls on muslim immigrants. others are promoting a message of tolerance. members of a group campaigning against what they call islamization of europe are holding rallies. but monday's gathering in the eastern city of dresdin drew a record crowd of 18,000. many are concerned about terrorism on home soil. more than 500 people from germany have reportedly joined the islamic state militant group. demonstrations were also held in berlin and hamburg. opposing the anti-islam movement. people appealed for an end to discrimination. in cologne, lights were turned
off to make a statement against racism. chancellor angela merkel says in a new year's address that hostility towards foreigners has no place in a german society. a salvage team in britain is trying to save a ship and its precious cargo. it's carrying hundreds of luxury cars. the cargo ship began listing on saturday shortly after leaving southampton on course to germany. officials say the captain decided to ground the 180 meter long vessel on bank to prevent it from overturning completely. all 25 members of the crew were rescued. the ship is tilted at a 45 degree angle creating a challenge for salvage workers. >> substantial and will be quite difficult for anyone going on board to work on the vessel.
>> a team has boarded the ship to assess damage and make a salvage plan. local media reports the cars on board include luxury brand such as jaguar and rolls royce. the cargo is estimated over $50 million. time now for a check of the weather. people across much of turkey are doing what they can to stay warm as they deal with extremely low temperatures and snow. mai shoji has the latest. >> you can see a cloud mass over turkey. this is creating heavy snowfall and winter wonderland. that includes, ankara. this is what people are dealing with right now. it's the first snowfall of the season which swept over the capital of turkey on tuesday. the heavy snowfall was accompanied by a chilly air mass with temperatures dropping to about minus 17 degrees. in istanbul all government offices and schools were closed on tuesday. further south in lebanon in israel, heavy snowfall is
falling there. in is the heaviest scene in this area since december 2013 when the worth storm in 50 years swept over the eastern mediterranean. i'm afraid to tell you that the residents across this area will be dealing with more heavy snowfall and will be having to dig up this snow. not so much in istanbul but in ankara. will see many snowfall. it's up to 9 centimeters now. additional amounts will be falling here. so avalanche risk and snow falling off the roofs will be very dangerous. you can see that athens will possibly see some snow there as well. there are some waterspouts and damaging lightnings that have been reported from greece. now ankara, the snow will be tapering off but the temperatures down to minus 10 degrees on friday. jerusalem, snow and sleet on thursday. sofia will see snow and cold temperatures. talking about the arctic air, this area is also dealing with biting cold especially the north central where a wind chill
warning is in place and parts of eastern canada has extreme cold warning in place out there. these are the temperatures that people are dealing with. the lows are as follows. bismarck, minus 32 and new orleans and even in louisiana, minus 3 for the overnight hours. the wind chill factor is what you feel like. it's not the temperature on the mercury. but this is what you are likely to feel, minus 26. even in your daytimes these are the temperatures you will be feeling. so it's some dangerous, life threatening, biting cold air mass that will be causing frostbite in a matter of minutes. apart from that, snowfall will combine with that cold. it's going to be created around the great lakes region. the lake effect snow will be up to about 60 centimeters. about 45 centimeters generally speaking.
and that clipper will be pulling into new england states. additional snowfall amounts could top as much as 20 centimeters. 8 centimeters in the pacific northwest. it's not too much for this time of year. but down below we are likely to see warm conditions, los angeles, 26 degrees, that is likely to continue on into your friday. across here in japan, winter pressure pattern is intensifying. gusty conditions up to 130 kilometers per hour gusts as well as blizzard whiteout conditions and the snowfall will be up to 80 centimeters additionally and the gusts very strong as well. so travel willing be very much hindered. seoul, minus 2, so the cold is already out there. but hanging on to the double digits here in tokyo on our wednesday. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast.
more than 2,700 firefighters and fire corps volunteers took part in the drill on tuesday. >> translator: this year marks the 20th anniversary of the great hanshin earthquake. we have been working to upgrade disaster preparedness by enhancing cooperation with regional groups. >> the drill was staged on the scenario that a powerful quick hit central tokyo toppling buildings and leaving many injured. rescue workers from south korea took part in the event for the first time this year. they joined the tokyo fire department's hyper rescue team. the drill ended with fire boats spraying water tinted with the five colors of the olympic rings in anticipation of the 2020 tokyo games. and that's all for this edition of "newsline."
good evening from los angeles, i'm tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with oscar winner anjelica huston about her latest thome "watch me: a memoir," about her childhood. a where theh last left off. a candid look at her career in l.a. and much publicized romance with jack nicholson and relationship with robert graham. we're glad you joined us. a conversation with oscar winner anjelica huston coming up right now. ♪